Surgical management of chronic pancreatitis: current utilization in the United States

HPB (Oxford). 2015 Sep;17(9):804-10. doi: 10.1111/hpb.12459. Epub 2015 Jul 27.


Background: Surgical intervention is uncommon in chronic pancreatitis. Literature largely describes single institution or international experiences. This study describes US-based chronic pancreatitis surgical management.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of chronic pancreatitis patients in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Florida State Inpatient Database 2007-2011. Patients with malignancy or congenital abnormalities were excluded. Univariate analysis using the chi-square test. The number of readmissions, inpatient length of stay and cost using Wilcoxon's signed-rank test. Multivariate analysis of surgery by logistic regression.

Results: Twenty-one thousand four hundred and forty-five patients with chronic pancreatitis. 10.8% (2 307) underwent surgery including 1652 cholecystectomies, 564 drainage procedures and 498 pancreatectomies. Procedures decreased from 12.1% to 8.3% over time (P < 0.001), but intervention within 3 months increased (7.2% to 8.4%; P = 0.017). 15.3% (3 278) had pancreatic cysts/pseudocysts and 43.4% (9 312) had diabetes. The median numbers of admissions were 2 [interquartile range (IQR) 1,5] and 3 (IQR 2,7) among non-surgical and surgical patients, respectively (P < 0.001). Predictors of surgery were fewer co-morbidities, private insurance, and either diabetes mellitus or pancreatic cyst/pseudocyst.

Conclusion: Chronic pancreatitis leads to numerous inpatient readmissions, but surgical intervention only occurs in a minority of cases. Complicated patients are more likely to undergo surgery. The complexities of chronic pancreatitis management warrant early multidisciplinary evaluation and ongoing consideration of surgical and non-surgical options.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Drainage / economics*
  • Drainage / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Care Costs / trends*
  • Health Expenditures / trends*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pancreatectomy / economics*
  • Pancreatectomy / methods
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / economics
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States